SEMpdx SearchFest 2013 Mini-Interview: David Rodnitzky
David Rodnitzky will be speaking at the “Paid Search” session at SearchFest 2013 which will be taking place on February 22, 2013 at the Governor Hotel in Portland, Oregon. For more information or to purchase tickets, please click the following link.
1) Please give us your background and let us know what you do for a living.
I’m originally from Iowa (Go Hawks!). Went to law school, hated it, moved to Silicon Valley with all my possessions in a beat-up 1994 Jetta. Got lucky getting a job at a start up and I stumbled across GoTo.com, later to be called Overture, then Yahoo Search Marketing, then, I guess, AdCenter. So I fell in love with search engine marketing and decided to make it my career. I tooled around at several Internet companies between 2000 and 2008 until I decided to found PPC Associates, which I’ve been happily running ever since!
2) What is the “Alpha Beta” account structure and why is it optimum for maximizing PPC account performance?
The Alpha Beta structure is a methodology for creating high performance AdWords campaigns. The basic concept is that the building blocks of SEM are queries (what users search for) and not keywords (what marketers buy). We create “beta” campaigns that contain keywords on broad match modified (e.g. +sem +pdx) and then let Google match these keywords against whatever queries they think are relevant. We then mine the “keyword details” report to look at all the queries we’ve been matched against. Queries that have statistically significant ROI are declared “alphas” and are moved into single-keyword ad groups (SKAGs) in their own campaign, and put on exact match and given custom ad text and custom landing pages (if possible). Non-performing queries are added as negatives to the beta campaigns. We also add the alpha queries to the beta campaigns just to make sure that Google doesn’t mistakenly match us to a high-performing query in our test campaign. We’ve got a pretty extensive white paper that I’d recommend you read to learn more!
3) Many who will see you present are already working with a PPC agency. How can those folks objectively evaluate their agency performance?
We’ve got a process for that too! We call it the “Lin Rodnitzky Ratio“, pompously named after the founders of our company. We look at the CPA of all queries in your account and divide that number by the CPA of all queries with at least one conversion in your account. This ratio tells us how well an account has been optimized. Generally speaking, an account with a ratio of 1.5 to 2.0 is well-optimized. Anything outside of that range is either being managed too aggressively or too conservatively. Note, for bonus points, you can also evaluate your accounts’ non-brand keywords only using this methodology. For clients that have very strong brand names, it’s sometimes pretty easy to get a low L-R Ratio, simply because your brand keywords are converting so well.